6 Shortcuts for Writing, Editing and Publishing a Post in Record Time

By Ali Luke

Need to get a post out in a hurry? Or just want to be a more efficient writer?

These 6 shortcuts could potentially halve the time it takes you to write a post. (Let us know your results in the comments!)

I’ve chosen all these tips to be (a) straightforward and (b) suitable for both total beginners and more experienced bloggers.

Shortcut #1: Choose a Topic You Know Well

If you pick a post topic you know inside out, you can write your post with little or no additional research. You’ll also often find that the words flow more easily, as you’ll feel more confident.

(Sure, it’s good to branch out into new topics sometimes – but not when you’re in a hurry!)

Shortcut #2: Make a Plan First

Don’t jump straight into your post without planning. That’s like rushing into a race without knowing where the start and finish line are.

Take 3 – 5 minutes to make a plan: a list of key points to cover. It’ll keep you on track (and motivate you to carry on).

Shortcut #3: Forward, Not Backward

A while back, Daniel wrote a great post titled Never Hit the Backspace. When you’re writing, don’t stop to edit. That comes later.

If you have to quickly correct a typo or restart a sentence, I’ll let you get away with that … but don’t struggle over whole paragraphs. If you’re stuck, see the next shortcut!

Shortcut #4: Leave Blanks, Come Back and Edit

The previous section looked like this in my first draft:

shortcut-3-draft

(And that image just said [screenshot].)

If you  need a fact, statistic, post title, link, etc, just leave a placeholder and come back to it when you’re editing. It’s much quicker to get all these done at once, instead of constantly breaking the flow of your writing to look things up.

Shortcut #5: When in Doubt, Cut

Now you’re onto the editing – and you’ve come across a tricky sentence or two. You’re struggling to reword it to make it clearer or more compelling.

Stop. Don’t struggle. Just cut that sentence (or paragraph). Can you do without it? Then move on.

(If you really need it, try splitting it into shorter sentences.)

Shortcut #6: Keep the Formatting Simple

I’m a big fan of formatting – but you don’t need to spend half an hour perfecting every post you publish. Choose a less than perfect image (or none at all). Put in subheadings but leave out bold text.

(Plus, too much formatting – bold, italic and even coloured text everywhere – can look as offputting as none at all.)

That’s it – you’re done! Hit publish. If you need to, you can go back and tweak later.

Let me know how you got on in the comments.

 




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12 Responses to “6 Shortcuts for Writing, Editing and Publishing a Post in Record Time”

  • Shyam Chathuranga

    Hey, quite interesting post. I totally agree with 2nd point of creating a plan. I always plan the structure of my post with sub headings that I’d like to include and then I start writing.

    Normally, I aim for more information in one post. But I’m not moving the subject of the post to go offtopic.

    I always spend more than 5hrs to write, craft, adding images and formatting etc. What you think about Epic Content Ali?

    Thank you,
    Shyam Chathuranga

  • Edie Melson

    Ali, these are great tips. And without thinking about it, I utilize most of them. My downfall is starting the editing process too soon. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Monica Womble

    I think another thing that I believe makes writing content faster is to have a writing calendar. Knowing what you want to be writing the next day or next week allows you to mull the idea over in your head before writing. I find that this allows me to work through some of the kinks even before I get to the keyboard.

  • Helene Poulakou

    Tip #4 saves me big time.
    Don’t stop the flow, guys!

  • Vicky

    Shortcut #2: Make a Plan First

    Most of the time, I bypass this when writing a post. In the end, my post seemed to be disorganized. Guilty!

  • David Johnson

    Love these tips. Trying to cut my blogging down to about 15-30 minutes for most posts. I find it is easier to blog if I know it is only going to take about 30 minutes to have it up and published.

  • Dani Ivanov

    Another shortcut is to always have a file with topics you can choose to write about in your next blog post. Just spend 10-20 minutes on brainstorming and create a text document with article ideas. Then, once you sit down to write, pick a topic that seems most interesting and start writing.

    Once you’ve written the article add one new idea in your text document.

  • Rakesh

    Good idea. I always stuck in the middle of a post. Most of the times i forget to post the contents which are in the drafts that are uncompleted.
    Thanks ,inspired. Hope my drafts count will come down

  • Shawn Gossman

    When I ‘quick blog’ as I tend to call it, I follow a similar system. First I strategically plan for the post by spending the first hour or so deciding what my next post would be about. I actually did this with my last one deciding what 3 tragic blogging mistakes bloggers should avoid. I thought back on my own experience and the member replies from the Blogging Friends forum. I then decided on the three mistakes I wanted to go with. Next, I will choose the title and the headers and write them down. I usually follow a system on regular posts (or my main style) that goes like this:

    Title
    Intro Text (sums up the blog)
    Picture relating to the topic
    Header 1 and paragraph
    Header 2 and paragraph
    Header 3 and paragraph
    Ending text
    Question to encourage comments

    ^It helps to have form a habit on a normal posting style when wanting to ‘quick blog’.

    After I get the basics down, I write it. I can usually write a ‘quick blog’ post in less than a few hours where my longer well-thought of blog posts could take anywhere from a couple of days to over a week – those are usually the ones that I want to attempt to make viral.

    Good write-up, as always, Ali! 🙂

  • Ashok

    Hi Ali,

    Appreciate your efforts to encourage new blogger ! Those who commented above are also given awesome ideas.
    First I make sub-header and then complete it with full details.

    Thanks a lot!

  • Bhvesh

    I like the tips 4 and 2. These saves a lot time and gives a perfect work. Writers who plan before writing is more helpful. I think Writers calendar is more helpful.

  • maxwell ivey

    Hello; Love these mistakes posts of yours. I find that when I start writing the rest of the post usually comes. so i agree with that one about not hitting the backspace or otherwise editing your posts until they are through. And I never thought of leaving blank space, but then being a blind blogger i’m not sure how i would do that. I mean i could leave blank space in my text document, but i don’t think it would help me personally. It sounds like something that would be more helpful if you were working with pen and ink or if you are a visual person. I have started recording videos and writing down my thoughts to get them clear in my mind is a must before pressing the record button. Thanks again and take care, max

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